Spring in St. Louis
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Some of the textiles in our collection
Some of the textiles in our collection... Read More
28, August 2015

Missouri Listory: Creepy Objects in Our Collection

 

Napoleon Complex  

After his death while exiled on the island of St. Helena in 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte was still making impressions. His attending doctors took a gypsum cast of his head, which was later reproduced in bronze and plaster. Before the advent of cameras, death masks were made to preserve the likeness of the deceased. This practice dates back to ancient Egypt. Read more »

25, August 2015

Unearthing St. Louis's Prehistory

As an anthropology and archaeology major, I usually work with small and incomplete objects, since sitting in the ground for hundreds or thousands of years is typically quite rough on artifacts. While interning this summer at the Library and Research Center of the Missouri Historical Society, I received the unique opportunity to work with some of the Society’s prehistoric collections. Since information on the ancient people who lived in the St. Read more »

21, August 2015

Mary Taussig Hall: A Lifetime Committed to Social Reform

On August 12, Mary Taussig (Tompkins) Hall passed away at age 104. Mrs. Hall spent most of her long life helping citizens of the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri. During the 1930s and 1940s, she became part of the social movement arising from the New Deal, focusing primarily on child welfare and race relations. Read more »

19, August 2015

WWI Artifacts and Memories: “Chow” Time

William H. Danforth was born in Mississippi County, Missouri, in 1870. An ambitious man, in 1894 he founded the Purina Mills Company at age 24. A significant producer of animal feed, the Purina Mills Company went on to expand into breakfast cereals and renamed the company the Ralston-Purina Company. The renaming was the result of an endorsement of their cereals by Webster Edgerly, founder of Ralstonism, a pseudo-health and social movement. Read more »

12, August 2015

Making Connections

“Could you help me find Third Street and Morgan?” I had barely begun leading a tour through A Walk in 1875 St. Louis when a woman asked me this question. While preparing for this tour I had pored over each enlarged panel of Compton and Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis; studied landmarks, churches, homes of famous St. Louisans; and taken reams of notes. I couldn’t recall a historic building on that particular corner. Read more »

6, August 2015

Mapping the Weird: The 9 Strangest Things on Pictorial St. Louis

While researching A Walk in 1875 St. Louis, I spent more than a year poring over Pictorial St. Louis, the incredible map that is a focal point of the exhibit. With more than 40 square miles of 1875 St. Louis before me, I was certain I would find some interesting details hidden on the pages. While there was no shortage of surprises, there were a few I just couldn’t get over… Read more »

30, July 2015

Swabbing the Decks: Conserving a Steamboat Model

Preparing an object for exhibition involves a thorough examination in the conservation lab to determine the overall stability and condition of the item. Addressing concerns before exhibition helps ensure the overall preservation of the object for both the short term of the exhibit and the long term as part of our collection. Read more »

24, July 2015

The 25th Anniversary of ADA and Its St. Louis Connection

Twenty-five years ago, on July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The official goal was “to establish a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.” Prior to the passing of the ADA, forms of discrimination against people with disabilities still existed—despite previous legislation—especially in areas such as employment, housing, public spaces, education, transportation, communications, health care, and public services. Read more »

17, July 2015

1875 St. Louis: The Russell Coal Mines

As many visitors of the Missouri History Museum’s current exhibit A Walk in 1875 St. Louis can attest, it can be quite the shock to glance across St. Louis of 140 years ago, especially if your neighborhood didn’t exist yet. For those who call Tower Grove South home, it can be even more of a shock knowing that in 1875 the neighborhood was being used as a coal mine! The resources hidden just beneath the area’s surface were quite valuable, and one family was busy adding their own tunnels, holes, and carvings to a landscape that already had quite a few natural ones. Read more »

14, July 2015

The Liberator and the Survivor

Volunteer docents at the Missouri History Museum are sometimes asked to accompany a tour that will be led by a curator. We greet the curator and guests and then respectfully move to the rear of the group as the tour begins. Most of the interaction occurs between the curator and the guests, but sometimes the docents are asked questions as well. The most frequently asked question on such evenings is, “Where is the restroom?” That always keeps us humble. Read more »